England U20 side confirm matchday squad to take on France

Marcus Smith will start at fly-half for England U20 side
Marcus Smith will start at fly-half for England U20 side

England U20 matchday squad to take on France counterparts in the upcoming U20 Six Nations encounter at Sandy Park has been confirmed on Thursday.

The game day squad will be captained by Ted Hill with Cameron Redpath making a return to inside centre at the expense of Tom Hardwick. Ollie Lawrence is drafted at inside centre with Arron Reed set to make his debut for the U20 side at the wing.

Fraser Dingwall and wing Cadan Murley miss out on the game due to injuries while Kai Owen is set to make his England age-grade debut while Tom de Glanville could appear at U20s level for the first time after being named on the bench.

Head coach Steve Bates said the players are motivated to turn around after their disappointing defeat to Ireland in the opening round.

“There was a lot of disappointment at the start of the week off the back of Friday’s result but we’ve trained really well and the players are looking forward to getting out there on Saturday and performing in front of a vocal Sandy Park crowd," he said.

“The game against France in the final of the World Rugby U20 Championship will have a little bearing at the weekend but the nature of U20s rugby is that it is ever evolving and players change rapidly so although a portion of our squad would have played in that final our motivation is to kick-start our Six Nations with an important victory".

Bates is also relieved that the game against France will be in front of their home crowd which will add to the strength of the England side.

“Home advantage will be really important, we’re hoping for a large crowd and we have to get them on our side by playing some good rugby but controlling the game a little bit more.

"We’ve got to excite that crowd by having confidence to play what we’ve practiced because we feel that’s the best way for these guys to perform and if we do that and do that consistently the crowd will enjoy it.”

England U20 starting line-up

15. Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons)
14. Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints)
13. Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors)
12. Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks)
11. Arron Reed (Sale Sharks)
10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
9. Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs)
1. Olly Adkins (Gloucester)
2. Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks)
3. Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs)
4. Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
5. Alex Coles (Northampton Saints)
6. Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors)
7. Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester)
8. Tom Willis (Wasps)


16. Ben Atkins (London Irish)
17. Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors)
18. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)
19. James Scott (Worcester Warriors)
20. Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)
21. Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie)
22. Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers)
23. Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby)

England Fixtures